We recently caught up with FirstPoint USA client and golfer, Matthew Robertson. Next month, Matthew will be heading off to Florida to take part in the IMG Academy’s Golf Camp. Here, Matthew shares with us, some more about his sporting background, the IMG Academy Golf Camp and how the opportunity arose, as well as the tournaments he is registered to compete in whilst over in the States.
Hailing from Glasgow, Matthew was a pupil of The Glasgow Academy for 13 years. After having completed his Highers last year, and achieving a GPA of 4.0, Matthew tells us he has recently left school to allow him to focus on his golf for the next few months.
Matthew began his golfing career in 2013, when he first joined Glasgow Golf Club, and since then has had a huge number of successes. Amongst others, these include; securing 2nd place in both the individual and team (3-man) ISGA National Plate Finals, The Shire London. In 2016, Matthew was the youngest ever finalist in the Moray Open, (low handicap section). Matthew also won the Junior European Open regional qualifier at Alloa Golf Club, and earned himself a place at the European Finals in Spain, 2017.
With a number of sporting successes behind him already, we asked Matthew to tell us about his favourite sporting memory to date. He stated, “As a player, my first taste of achievement as a low handicap golfer was when I reached the final of the Moray Open Championship – I was the youngest player to ever reach the final and to achieve this in a competition with over 350 players, more than half of them with a handicap of 9 or less, will stay with me for a long time.
As a spectator, attending the practice day of the 2015 Masters in Augusta, gave me goose bumps. Another fantastic spectator moment was meeting Jason Day, who was World No.1 at the time – a great role model and a true gentleman.”
From March 4-31, Matthew will be attending the IMG Academy’s Golf Camp. He tells us, “I first heard about the IMG from Andrew Kean, the MD of FirstPoint, and took the opportunity to visit when my family were in Florida on a holiday. As a sports fan, I was genuinely blown away by the quality and extent of the sporting facilities on offer. I spoke of nothing else throughout our trip. When I received feedback that coaches were keen to see more recent scoring, there was an obvious hurdle – there are no/few tournaments to play in until the season starts here in the UK in April. My parents could see that I was itching to get working on my game, and offered me the opportunity of swapping 6th year in Glasgow for a 2-month trip to Florida. It was a no brainer for me. I am so excited and feel very grateful. The programme I will be following will include tailored drills, technology-driven personalised skills training, competitive tactics, sports nutrition and core fitness. They also have daily competitions on their own course, so I will have an opportunity to see the immediate impact on progress. Busy working on my core strength to get myself ready for intensive training!”
After having completed his four weeks at Golf Camp, Matthew has registered to compete four two-day tournaments in Florida. Matthew tells us that he’s confident in the fact that his natural fade will not suffer the same punishment as it did both in 35mph winds in St Andrews, or the torrential rain and wind that he faced during the Gleneagles Open last year. Matthew adds, “Many of the tournaments I played in last year were on links courses, and I know that I will have to amend my game to get comfortable with the Bermuda grass on the Florida courses – it is a totally different feel. I played a couple of these course over the holidays, and was pleasantly surprised that I achieved par golf on courses that are notably longer than the UK courses I usually play, so that’s a positive.”
Finally, we asked Matthew what he is most looking forward to about competing in the US. He stated, “I can’t wait to be playing competitive golf – I couldn’t believe how many tournaments there are for juniors; and the season is 12 months long instead of six. I am keen to get an idea of where I sit compared to the US golfers – many of the players I met over the holidays do not have handicaps – they play for ranking points, so it is impossible to judge how my performance fairs to the other players looking to impress college coaches. It seems sill to say I am looking forward to the weather, but I love the thought of not having to shelter from the rain, keep my hands warm, huddle under an umbrella, constantly be drying my hands and grips, and having to clear the lenses of my range finder to get a distance – I am sure this sounds familiar to those who have played golf in Scotland!”
We'd like to thank Matthew for catching up with us, we're sure he will have a fantastic time throughout both the IMG Academy's Golf Camp and his US tournaments. During his time in the States, Matthew will be keeping us updated on his experiences at the IMG, as well as at his tournaments, via weekly blog posts - we can't wait to hear what he has to share.
We’d like to thank Matthew for catching up with us, we're sure he'll have a fantastic time throughout both the IMG Academy's Golf Camp and his US tournaments. We’ll be keeping you updated on Matthew’s progress and experiences throughout his time in the States with weekly blog posts, published across our various social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.